Thierry Henry’s legacy as a footballer has always been secured; the man has a statue outside of the Emirates, after all. Few players in the modern history of the game have been as electrifying, entertaining, and jaw-droppingly talented as Arsenal’s iconic striker, who glided through Premier League defenses with unparalleled skill and terrorized countless keepers during his eight-year tenure in North London. And now, the celebrated Frenchman can add another distinction to his heavily-decorated legacy - Hall of Famer.
On Monday morning, the Premier League announced the inaugural class of their Hall of Fame, inducting two exceedingly deserving players in Thierry Henry and the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, Alan Shearer.
It would be hard to make an argument for anyone besides Henry, who was already considered one of, if not the most, impressive strikers in Premier League history. The prolific attacker had the kind of career that most players could only dream of. During his time at Arsenal, he won two EPL titles, two FA Cup titles, scored a club-record 175 goals, provided 74 assists, won the Golden Boot a record four times, and scored 20+ goals in five consecutive seasons. Oh, and there’s also the small matter of being a member of The Invincibles, the only undefeated side in Premiere League history.
The striker provided ample memories and highlights. Personally, my favorite memory of the French attacker is altogether innocuous. Before I really knew much at all about the Premier League or Arsenal, my dad took me to see a match on Boxing Day while I was visiting he and my mom on a winter break during college in 2003. On that day, Henry scored twice against visiting Wolverhampton, making it look all too easy in the process, and thus my fandom was born. Sure, it didn’t hurt that the squad I watched ended up being one of the most iconic sides in Premier League history, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Nevertheless, that match began a lifelong love of Arsenal for me.
Henry represented the best of Arsenal and continues to do so nearly a decade after his retirement from playing. Despite leaving the London club for Barcelona in 2007 and having played in France, Italy, and the MLS during his career, Henry remains synonymous with the Gunners and continues to be one of the club’s most prominent supporters.
Congrats, Thierry. You have more than deserved it.